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Ali Shops Blog

Archive for October 24th, 2010

The shoppers have spoken

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Parc Boutique and Belle Reve opened around the same time on East Hennepin Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis – before the bottom fell out of the economy. Belle Reve was flashier, designer focused and all about the fab dress and killer heels while Parc Boutique offered the more reasonably priced ruffly tops and cool jeans you knew you’d wear a thousand times. Belle Reve is gone. Parc Boutique is expanding and will reopen this week in Belle Reve’s larger space at 320 E. Hennepin.

I was sad to see Belle Reve go, but the truth is, I never bought anything there. It was out of my league for every day wear and just not the place I (or apparently most women) thought to shop for special occasion pieces. Meanwhile, Parc owner Thao Bui – in her sweet, understated way – has listened to the marketplace and responded successfully. Her customer wants the latest fashions with a point of view and the accessories to make it all pop – but on a budget. The new jewelry lines she’s picking up: Vintage City Classics, KR Designs, DeVintage jewelry and others, are all priced under $75. As are most of the clothes from new lines Minkpink and Kensie. Parc Boutique is also adding local designers Kjurek Couture and Amanda Christine for cost-conscious couture. For men, basics from Alternative Apparel will be complimented by an influx of belts, watches and jewelry – easy ways for the hipster to update without breaking the bank.

It’s nice to see a young retailer evolve and succeed. It’s reassuring to know that what shoppers want (or perhaps need) does count.

Details on Parc Boutique’s re-opening can be found at | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved